ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Karnataka : A Matter of Circumstance


In any ways S M Krishna has perhaps the easiest of prospects for registering efficiency and good governance. And not because of any particular combination of political or economic good fortune, but because of the previous government’s thoroughness in demolishing all semblance of good administration and political functioning. Restoring ordinary everyday functioning is all that Krishna needs to do to win friends, especially where it matters most to the state, that is, among the new hi-tech entrepreneurs and investors who have felt betrayed in the last decade. Last week the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government recognising it as the thrust state for public-private partnership to promote employment-intensive growth. CII will also help in the upgradation of polytechnics, tool-rooms and training centres in the state’s 28 districts. This is probably not just a salve to Krishna’s pride in the absence of Bill Clinton’s calling card, but is in the long run more important. Close on the heels of this has come the inauguration of the international software quality control centre, projected to be the regional centre for the Asia-Pacific region, set up with the Indian Institute of Science and LG (Soft) India with an initial corpus of $1 million. Karnataka is also among the first states to sign a memorandum of agreement with the centre on power distribution and power audit. The centre has offered Rs 10,000 crore towards privatisation of power distribution.

Krishna’s priority has been to change the image of the state and restore its investor-friendly image for which end the government has employed various means including advertisements in foreign newspapers coinciding with the Davos meeting last month. Partly this was directed at prompting the World Bank to look its way again – there has been no funding for the state from the multilateral agency in the last four years.

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